Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 October 2019

Woman jailed for life for smuggling drugs from the UK

The young men, both aged 27, were cleared of possessing drugs to sell and to use

A British woman was jailed for life but two British men were acquitted on drugs charges at Abu Dhabi Criminal Court.

The men, both 27, were cleared of possession to sell and to use.

The woman, 28, was given a life sentence for smuggling manufactured cannabis from the United Kingdom to sell in the UAE.

She will be deported after serving her term.

An Emirati, 24, was also jailed for life for aiding and abetting the British woman by providing her with cash and information, and directing her to sources in the UK from whom she bought the drugs.

He was also sentenced to two years for possessing drugs to use and for using drugs.

Three other defendants – a British man, 26, a Jordanian, 21, and a Somalian woman, 25 – were convicted by the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court and each jailed for two years, for possessing drugs to use and for using narcotics. But they were cleared of possessing drugs to sell.

The court also ordered the referral of a 26-year-old Moroccan woman to the Court of Misdemeanours on a charge of using pregabalin.

Lawyer Awatif Mohammed, who represented one of the British men, told the court: “The evidence submitted

by prosecutors is baseless and does not in any way prove my client’s connection to the drugs because the confiscated drugs were found in ­possession of three other defendants inside their hotel room, not in my client’s hotel room.”

Ms Mohammed said that her client, who stayed in the same hotel, was merely visiting the other defendants in their room when police raided it.

“How is it possible that the arrest officer in his testimony said that he kept my client under surveillance for a month, when my client arrived to the country two days before the arrest happened?” she asked the judges.

Court records show that on April 8 last year, police were tipped off about the defendants and they were arrested on the same day.

During police and prosecution questioning, the British woman admitted to charges and said she had smuggled drugs from the UK through Abu Dhabi International Airport four times before she was arrested.

She was working with the Emirati defendant to whom she was introduced through her husband.

Prosecutors said the defendants admitted to charges during police questioning but then denied them when they appeared at Abu Dhabi Criminal Court.

Updated: January 20, 2018 08:30 PM